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$18.7 million expansion to add 105 jobs in Ligonier

Tenneco, a vehicle parts supplier, will spend $18.7 million to expand its operations in Ligonier and create up to 105 jobs by 2013, the company announced Thursday.

Tenneco Automotive Operating Co. Inc., based in Lake Forest, Ill., will lease and equip a 50,000-square-foot facility in Ligonier. The building will house robotic welding machinery used to produce emission control parts, including mufflers, catalytic converters and emission systems for customers including Chrysler and Ford, the company said.

Tenneco has Indiana plants in Elkhart, Ligonier and Angola.

The company, which has more than 430 full-time Indiana employees at its Ligonier plant, plans to begin hiring engineering support, hand welders, material handlers and support personnel in January.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Tenneco up to $600,000 in conditional tax credits and up to $68,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. The tax credits are performance-based, meaning that until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives, the company said.

The Ligonier facility has been the recipient of Tenneco’s Global Environmental Health and Safety Large Plant Culture Award for the past two years.

“The announcement of Tenneco’s new project is great news for the city of Ligonier. It has been my privilege to work with all the team players who have helped to secure this expansion,” Ligonier Mayor Patty Fisel said in a prepared statement. “Retaining present industry and jobs is very important to our community. The addition of new jobs is very exciting.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. announced 220 companies have made decisions to expand or locate new business operations in Indiana this year, more than any other year on record.